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Federal Drug Crimes

Boston Criminal Defense Attorney Represents Clients Charged in U.S. District Court

Drug crimes are always serious; however, once the feds get involved, the case requires the skill and dedication of a veteran Boston criminal defense attorney. Too much is on the line to put your future in the hands of a lawyer who doesn’t know what they are doing. If you face a federal drug crime, you need a lawyer who is familiar with the federal process and knows how to effectively tackle these cases. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy has represented clients in federal criminal cases for over 25 years. He has a detailed understanding of the complex procedural and substantive laws governing federal drug laws and aggressively pursues the best resolution in each of his client’s cases.

 The Difference Between State and Federal Drug Crimes

State and federal law make the possession, sale, possession with intent to deliver and trafficking of drugs illegal. The list of prohibited drugs is almost identical under state and federal law, with the major exception of marijuana. Thus, if you were arrested for a Boston drug crime, you could be charged by the local district attorney in state court or U.S. Attorney in federal court.

Even if a case starts in state court, federal prosecutors can decide to pick up the case at any point. However, the vast majority of drug crimes are prosecuted in state court. Why, then, does the federal government only occasionally bring drug charges?

Technically, the federal government can bring charges in any drug case. However, in practice, this tends to occur when one or more of the following factors are in play:

  • Federal law enforcement officers arrested you;
  • You were arrested on federal property;
  • You are alleged to have transported drugs across state lines;
  • Federal prosecutors disagree with the state prosecutors’ handling of the case;
  • You were allegedly involved in organized crime;
  • Law enforcement claims you possessed a large quantity of drugs; and
  • The federal government is trying to target a specific geographical area.

It is not always clear why the federal government brings charges. However, as soon as you learn that you face federal drug charges, it is imperative that you reach out to an experienced drug crime defense lawyer.

Defending Against Federal Drug Crimes

One of the other major differences between state and federal drug crimes is that federal cases involve more experienced prosecutors who thoroughly investigate a case before bringing charges. As a result, prosecutors often have strong evidence in cases involving federal drug charges. For example, federal prosecutors will often use wiretaps or video surveillance in their investigations, making defending against the allegations challenging. Additionally, these cases often proceed very quickly, as much of the investigation is complete before charges are filed.

Of course, there are defenses to federal drug crimes. For example, regardless of whether state or federal law enforcement officers arrested you, you can argue that they illegally obtained evidence by filing a motion to suppress. Or, in cases involving allegations of a drug conspiracy, you can argue that your participation was minor, incidental, or non-existent. Federal prosecutors are often interested in cooperating with more minor participants in exchange for help securing convictions against the major players in the organization.

Punishments in Federal Drug Crimes

Drug cases in federal court carry much more serious penalties than those in state court. In most cases, the judge will use the federal sentencing guidelines to determine your sentence. This requires the judge to consider many factors, some of which require the judge to increase an already severe sentence. Other factors, however, may justify the judge in making a downward departure. Discussing your case with an experienced federal drug crimes attorney is critical in understanding what you are facing and how best to defend against the charges.

Contact the Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy for Immediate Assistance

If you face federal drug trafficking charges, you need a lawyer who is ready to fight for you. Federal criminal cases are often much more complex, requiring an attorney who is intimately familiar with these particular cases.  Attorney Patrick J. Murphy commands an impressive knowledge of federal drug laws that he puts to use in every case he handles. From the moment you speak with Attorney Murphy about your case, you will immediately feel a sense of relief, knowing that you are in good hands. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, call (617) 367-0450 today.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"Highly Recommended. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy absolutely helped me out in my time of need. When I met him in his Boston office he put me right at ease and explained the criminal process to me in a way I could easily understand and in a manner that gave me complete confidence. I was facing a criminal wanton destruction of property charge in Barnstable District Court. On the day of the case, he was at the courthouse waiting for me and my wife. Mr. Murphy handled the hearing in a very thorough and professional manner putting us through our testimony and making a powerful argument to the decision maker. My case was thrown out and I could not be happier with the service from Attorney Murphy. I highly recommend him to you as a skilled legal advocate!" Rob, Avvo User
★★★★★
"Excellent Criminal Defense Lawyer. From the first consultation I knew Patrick Murphy was the right choice for my criminal defense. He was knowledgeable of the laws and knew how to build up a strong defense for my case. Every phone call and email I made was promptly answered. When it came time for my hearing, Patrick was prepared and able to get the criminal complaint against me dropped without ever becoming charge! Would highly recommend this attorney to anyone seeking a top quality defense attorney to handle their case!" John, Avvo User
★★★★★
"OUI Not Guilty Verdict. Patrick Murphy provided excellent service as council on my case. He worked diligently over a long legal process that spanned over 3 years. He was able to take my case to a Jury Trial and get me a Not Guilty verdict through he expert knowledge of the law and expertise in cross examination of the prosecutions witnesses. He was very professional and available at anytime night or day to answer questions." Chris, Avvo User
★★★★★
"Highly Skilled and Professional Lawyer. Attorney Pat Murphy did a great job guiding me through an A&B charge, and most importantly getting the case dismissed in a very timely manner. He is very professional, returns call promptly, and did a great explaining his strategy and the legal process to me. I was confident throughout the whole process that I was in good hands and would receive the best possible outcome in my case. Would highly recommended Attorney Murphy." Avvo User
★★★★★
"I Felt That I was in Good Hands... and I Was! Mr. Patrick J. Murphy was very quick to respond to my needs. He was always there to answer any questions I had in a timely fashion, and he made me feel very comfortable in an extremely uncomfortable situation. Having Mr. Murphy by my side in the courtroom felt like I was at an advantage. He speaks with confidence. He doesn't stutter or pause while put on the spot. He treated me with respect. He listens. He always greeted me with a warm welcome and never wasted any time." Avvo User